[sic] Magazine

Banshee – Livin’ In The Jungle

Banshee’s 2017 self-released debut was a total ripper still doing the damage now as its pure power ripples out ever further from the hard-rockin’, Boston psych band’s basement. Livin’ In The Jungle happily doesn’t fix what isn’t broke, delivering 40-odd more minutes of apt, mid-fi hoots from a bunch of guys previously to be found in a range of local singles-only hardcore bands.

The righteous wail of early highlight “The Law” accordingly treats its baggy thrash to a filthy proto-punk strut, carpet-bombing the dancefloor with incendiary bass lines, pummelling drums and a snarling vocal. The title-track in turn proves this is a concrete jungle, delivering a tour of the dirtiest back streets, blinking neon emerging from the swirling smog as its menacing groove is pawed over by hirsute rockers given their perforated first taste of a tab. A heavier chug still and even weightier drums then get their freak on in the knuckle-dragging “Savage Man”, sharp guitar solos stinging like vinegar in a wound while the sleazy rhythm succeeds in getting the front row pregnant with its incessant thrusting. Another satisfying retro rocker, the lazy-days “Caged Birds” slows the tempo but makes up for it by jamming its middle out with outsider art before blowing out into wah wah fuzz.

Coiling round the racket, and the only real deviation from the debut, persistent Eastern-tinged garage-psych jangles also fight for supremacy, the acid taking hold during “Dawn Of Man” as it bubbles with hand-drums and a half-lidded smear of guitar, the vocal slowing to a Jagger-esque drawl. “Snake Charmer” inevitably whiffs of the same exotic cauldron, pitting its demonic howl against a dose of kosmiche afterburn by way of an exorcism. A soundtrack for our age perhaps, “The Atomic Flu” is then just as virulent as its name suggests, once again summoning the devil with its dark tones and sanity questioning chatter, its vocal dredged up from the silt of the Styx to contribute to a downright manic finale. There probably won’t be a stronger out-and-out rock ‘n’ roll record this year; there haven’t been many since the early 70s.

Best track: “Savage Man”

~Livin’ In The Jungle is out now via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube.~